Last year, I had the horrible task of having to break the news to my father that his best friend, my best friend’s dad, was dying of cancer. I was especially wary of telling him as most of his friends had a habit of dying recently, and my kind mother immediately shirked responsibility and told me he’d rather hear it from me. Nadla.
‘Dad, we need to talk,’ I told him as he walked past, looking immensely cheerful after a great day on the beach. Seriously, it was like preparing to kick a puppy. A big, wardrobe-sized puppy; but a puppy nonetheless.
Baba’s face fell and froze mid-cheer, panic immediately setting in.
‘There’s something I need to tell you,’ I said, gulping. Puppies need to be kicked every now and then, I comforted myself, or else they’ll pee on the carpet. Not that my father pees on the carpet.
Baba now had the universal father expression of oh-shit-she-must-be-pregnant.
‘Are you pregnant?’ he growled, and if you know my father, you’d know how intimidating he is. Entire villages of men shake at the mere memory of his growl.
So I did the only natural thing I could do, which is panic.
‘I…uh… I’m a lesbian,’ I quipped.
Baba paused, and his facial expression immediately shifted to relief, then confusion, then comfort at the memory of the men in my life.
‘Don’t worry dear, I’m a lesbian too,’ he smiled. ‘I love women.’
So this is how we break bad news in our family.